Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Broken Dolls by BR Kingsolver with Interview


1)      First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

Currently I’m living and working in Baltimore, Maryland, though I still own a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I grew up in Santa Fe, at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains, and still love to ski, hike and camp. It’s very different living next to the Chesapeake Bay. I also enjoy travel, and just got back from a trip to France and Iceland this past summer. My family consists of a partner, two basset hounds, and three cats.

2)      How long have you been writing?

I started writing about two years ago, and published my first novel six months later. It’s been quite a wild ride. I did work in newspapers at one time, but I worked as an editor and didn’t write much. A friend and I were discussing the new phenomena of self-publishing and I mentioned that I had a story I thought people might like. She encouraged me to try and write it. I asked a couple of friends if they would like to read it and they were very encouraging.

3)      Do you have a favorite place to write?

I can write almost anywhere. I’ve written in restaurants, airports, and on planes. Most of the time I just sit on my couch with my laptop.

4)      Why did you decide to write Broken Dolls?

I had a character but didn’t have a story for her. I actually planned to put her in a far-future science fiction setting. A friend kept telling me I should try to write a mystery because she likes mysteries. In a strange, meandering way, my character became a private investigator and I developed a story idea about human trafficking that I’d been playing with for a while.

5)      Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I like the main character, RB Kendrick. I always project some of myself into my major characters, and I like how down to earth she is. I also like Rebecca, who is a major character in my other books. She makes an appearance in the latter third of this book.

6)      How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

That’s easy. Siegfried the pimp. I didn’t make any effort to give him any redeeming qualities.

7)      Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I proofread and edit multiple times. I also have an editor who goes through the book at least twice, once through the first draft, and then again through the final draft. No one is really qualified to edit their own writing. You see what is supposed to be there, not what’s really there. Also, if something is confusing or doesn’t really convey the correct idea, I know what it means. Another person will point those things out. I also had six beta readers go through the manuscript and make comments and suggestions. Several of those people work as professional editors, though they’re reading my books as a favor to me. They aren’t gentle with their criticisms.

8)      What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like the outdoors and I like to travel. I enjoy fine dining as well as cook outs in the back yard. I like live music. I’ve started to get into photography a little bit, but I’m not very good at it yet. As I’m writing this, I’m looking at the pouring rain outside and thinking that the Renaissance Festival tomorrow will probably be a mud pit.

9)      Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I’m a voracious reader, and read everything from fantasy to history to politics. I have a lot of favorite writers, but I really enjoy Ann Bishop and Jacqueline Carey in fantasy. Nora Roberts for romances, but I tend toward her JD Robb mysteries and her fantasies. I grew up reading Steinbeck and Heinlein and Tolstoy.

10)   How would you characterize your books?

My books are fantasies filled with action but also with interaction between the characters. I write women who I would want to hang out with. Reviewers have called Brenna O’Donnell, the main character in my first three books, everything from a heartless bitch to a Mary Sue. I’m rather proud of that. She’s complex. Too many female characters, especially in books for young women, are lacking in depth. I’m not interested in simple, predictable people.

Broken Dolls
BR Kingsolver

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Suspense
ISBN: 9781301813568 (ePub)
Number of pages: 235
Word Count: 79,600
Cover Artist: Mia Darien

Book Description:

Private investigator RB Kendrick makes her living nailing cheating spouses, digging up other dirt to help in a divorce, finding long-lost relatives, and occasionally sniffing out criminal activity and fraud.

When she takes a job to find a missing girl, she has no idea she is headed for the most dangerous case of her career. Usually, her ability to read minds gives her an edge. But when the people she’s hunting are also telepaths, that advantage is limited.

The search takes her into the dark underbelly of telepathic society, where anything, and anyone, is for sale. She discovers that telepathic women and girls are being trafficked as the ultimate sex slaves.

With people trying to kill her, she’s on the run, not knowing who she can trust. Will she find the missing girl, or become a victim herself?


I walked into the restaurant to meet my prospective client, scanned the diners and slipped into the booth with her. She started to say something, then her eyes widened and nothing came out of her open mouth.
“Mrs. Sanders? I’m RB Kendrick,” I said, extending my hand.
“Oh, my,” she breathed. “The description you gave me is wholly inadequate.” She stared at me for a minute, then said, “Copper.”
Confused, I looked around. There weren’t any police in there. “Huh?” I said intelligently.
“Your hair. It’s not ginger, it’s like polished copper. It shines.”
Women notice different things than men. As I suspected from our conversation on the phone, Sylvia Sanders was a norm and so was her husband. What I read in her mind matched what she told me verbally. It’s so much easier when clients tell you the truth. I understood why she had suspicions about her husband. The changes in his behavior and schedule screamed other woman to me also.
“So what do you want, Mrs. Sanders? A report, photos, a confrontation? A basic report of what and who he is or is not doing will run a thousand pounds. Photos catching them in the act are another thousand, if I can get them. Unlike the telly, most people don’t conveniently provide evidence in front of windows with the shades open. If you want to confront him in the act, I’ll accompany you for an additional fifteen hundred pounds.”
She blanched at my rates.
“If what he’s doing isn’t obvious, and I have to put him under surveillance for an extended period, my rates are five thousand a week.”
“I don’t think that will be necessary,” she said with a quiver in her voice. She gave me a thousand and I wrote down all the pertinent information.
“I’ll check on it this afternoon. I’m going to be out of town for a few days,” I told her. “If I don’t find anything by tomorrow morning, I’ll call you when I get back.”
“Thank you, Miss Kendrick. This has been going on for several months. I don’t think it’s going to change.”
“Mrs. Sanders, you need to think about what you’re going to do if your suspicions are correct. Are you going to confront him and hope he ends it? Or do you plan to divorce him? It’s something you should decide before hand.”
“I want a divorce,” she said. “I know he’s cheating on me. He called a little while ago and told me he had to work late this evening.”
Edward Sanders worked about a mile away. I took the Tube to his building. About twenty minutes after I arrived, I saw him come out and head for the Tube station. Obviously, he wasn’t working late.
I followed him and sat behind him on the train. I read his mind to get his destination, then sat back and used my phone to check my email.
When we left the tube station, I took a slightly different route than Sanders to reach the house of his mistress. I stood across the street and watched as she answered the door for him. I could understand why he was attracted to her. She was even more beautiful than what I had expected from the images in his mind. 
I read her mind, also. She was the lonely trophy wife of a successful businessman who traveled often. Edward Sanders was good looking, and twenty years younger than his mistress’s husband. She wasn’t in love with him, but considered him a wonderful diversion. He wasn’t in love with her, either, but was infatuated that such a rich and beautiful young woman wanted him.
The shades in the living room weren’t drawn, and the amorous couple started their activities immediately upon his entering the house. I pulled my camera from my bag and walked across the street and across her lawn. There was a small tree in an ugly plastic pot sitting in the middle of the lawn, and I had to detour around it.
I could see glimpses of the lovers through the living room window, but reflections in the glass prevented me from a good view. It appeared he was doing her on the dining room table. This was going to be the easiest thousand pounds I’d ever made. 
I was so focused on what was going on inside that I didn’t see the hole hidden by the small tree sitting in front of it. I should have realized what a potted tree was doing on the lawn. Someone planned to plant it.
I took a step and my left foot found only air. The world spun around and the camera slipped out of my grasp. My chin hit something hard and I bit my tongue.
When I came to my senses, my right leg was sticking straight up and the rest of me lay twisted in the bottom of a hole. My chin felt like it was on fire, and my tongue hurt like mad. It took me some time to get myself situated and crawl out onto the grass. I looked back. The hole was about two feet deep. I spit, and a spot of bright red blood landed on the green lawn.
I picked up my camera and checked it to make sure it was still working. Looking around, I didn’t see anyone. I waited until my head stopped spinning, then crept up to the window. They were still going at it on the table. I took some pictures, but had to wait for them to shift positions so I could get his face. After a few minutes, I had all I needed.
A sudden noise behind me caused me to turn around. A white-haired woman with binoculars hanging from her neck stuck her head out of the window of the house next door.
“You clumsy cow,” she shouted at me. “Get out of the way. You’re blocking the view.”
I retreated in a hurry, and she raised the binoculars, trained on the window through which I’d been snapping pictures.
Case closed. I walked back to the Tube and went home, holding a handkerchief to my still-bleeding mouth.

About the Author:

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school, with one broken leg and one torn ACL to show for it. I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. I was in Paris and Iceland this summer.

I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I’m currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico.

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